Followers of the news over the summer will be aware of the recent listeria outbreak that has sadly claimed lives and caused awful illness. It’s a concern for every food manufacturer, where product handling requires strict rules to prevent bacteria growth and infection. One particular food manufacturer, the Good Food Chain, found itself at the centre of a listeria outbreak over the summer, with nine deaths linked to contaminated pre-packed sandwiches, with the company consequently ceasing production and going into liquidation.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that causes listeriosis, a potentially life-threatening illness in the very young, elderly or those with weakened immune systems. Food manufacturing and processing plants have to pay extremely close attention to where Listeria may hide and infect food during the various processes and various areas of the site that it goes through.
Typical non-food contact surfaces where L. monocytogenes can harbour in a freezing plant include: floors, especially cracks and crevices, walls, drains, ceilings, overhead structures, catwalks, wash areas, condensate and standing water, wet insulation in walls and around pipes and cooling units, rubber seals around doors, especially in coolers, metal joints, specially welds and bolts and contents of vacuum cleaners.
L. monocytogenes is also commonly found on equipment used for food processing, preparation, storage and transportation, such as freezing tunnels, castings bowls, blade spinners, slicers, knives, cutting boards, conveyor belts, gloves, joints, gaskets and dead ends.
The recent outbreak is every business owner’s worst nightmare, but it’s a battle that we have made significant headway into winning with our innovative bacteria-destroying units. The technology purifies the air using UV light that disrupts the DNA of the bacteria, with our unit continuously working to destroy both airborne and surface bacteria, preventing their reproductive ability.